İrem UZUN -TDO- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Thursday that passports of citizens born in Jerusalem can say they were born in Israel. “Consistent with President Donald Trump’s policy, I am happy to announce U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem can now elect to list their place of birth as either ‘Jerusalem’ or ‘Israel’ on their passports,” Pompeo said in a statement.
Despite the United States recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 and relocating its embassy to there from Tel Aviv months later, Americans born in Jerusalem have still been unable to list Israel as their place of birth on their U.S. passport. Currently, American passports only say “Jerusalem and not“ Jerusalem, Israel” because the holy city’s status has long been disputed as part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. According to the State Department’s policy on its website, the U.S. “recognizes that Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are territories whose final status must be determined by negotiations.
The passport change would be the latest in a series of moves the Trump administration has made before the election. On Thursday, the U.S. removed restrictions on providing federal funding for scientific research in Israeli institutions in the Golan Heights and West Bank, territories Palestinians see as part of their future independent state.